‘An unspeakable crime’ — 8 children found dead at home in Australia
CAIRNS, Australia (CNN) — Eight children have been found dead at a home near the northeastern Australian city of Cairns, police said Friday.
Police said they were called to the property in the Manoora area Friday morning after reports of a woman with serious injuries.
“During an examination of the residence, police located the bodies of the children, all aged between 18 months and 15 years,” the Queensland Police Service said in a statement.
Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar sought to allay fears among local residents about the deaths.
“There’s no need for the public to be concerned about this other than it’s a tragic, tragic event,” he told reporters near the crime scene, adding that the area had been secured and was being well-patrolled.
“These events are extremely distressing for everyone,” Asnicar said. “Police officers aren’t immune from that. We’re human beings as well.”
The woman, who is believed to be in her mid-30s, is being treated for her injuries and is helping police with their investigation, according to the statement. She’s in stable condition and is not under police custody, Asnicar said.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott released the following statement:
“The news out of Cairns is heartbreaking. All parents should feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened. This is an unspeakable crime. These are trying days for our country. Tonight there will be tears and prayers across our country for these children.”
Police believe that the injured woman at the house is the mother of seven of the slain children, Asnicar said.
He said police so far have no suspects in the case, but are talking to different people and looking at a range of options.
The road has been blocked off and the crime scene locked down, police said, with officers from criminal investigation, child protection and crime scene units at the scene.
Specialist police officers will also be arriving from Brisbane, another city in Queensland, Asnicar said.
“This is not a small job. We’re not taking this lightly at all,” he told reporters. “We will cover every angle before this is finished.”